Friday, May 30, 2014

Not Too Big to Fail: Disney’s “Maleficent”

This film is aptly named. You get a whole lot of the character Maleficent in the film of the same name. Directed by near-legendary special effects man but first-time director Robert Stromberg, we meet the title character as a charming, giggly winged forest fairy-child. Maleficent has got a pair of curly horns, a rather literal interpretation of what I figured for an elaborate hat on the animated Maleficent in the 1959 classic, Sleeping Beauty. Young Maleficent meets a human boy in the forest who just happens to be named Stefan and a friendship forms. For fans of the original animated tale, that’s a touchstone we can appreciate. We’re off to the races.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Cozy Up To a Good Book

I’m in heaven. My pal Cynthia introduced me to a marvelous series of board books that foster earliest literacy while planting a seed that will bloom years later. I’m talking about Cozy Classics. This series reinterprets the titans of literature—Pride and Prejudice, Moby Dick, Les Misérables, War and Peace, Jane Eyre, Oliver Twist, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer—as simple sight words (twelve words in all) juxtaposed against twelve stunningly crafted and photographed illustrations. The illustrations feature the art of felting to create characters that are placed in miniature environments. The sumptuous photographs of these tableaus invite children to enter the worlds of the stories.

Friday, May 16, 2014

How Much For the Arm? "Million Dollar Arm"

Movie Review by Jack Silbert
There’s no baseball fan quite like a young baseball fan, poring over rosters, statistics, and transactions, living and breathing the game. I feel like that’s who Million Dollar Arm is squarely aimed at. Unless your kids have really been hankering to see Don Draper in a kinder, gentler setting.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


This image was created by Micah Player, author and illustrator of Lately Lily and Chloe, Instead. Micah created it in response to the kidnapping of hundreds of girls from their school in Nigeria, and the online awareness campaign #BringBackOurGirls. I personally thank Micah and Chronicle Books for sharing this art with us.